The Rhizome Digest merged into the Rhizome News in November 2008. These pages serve as an archive for 6-years worth of discussions and happenings from when the Digest was simply a plain-text, weekly email.

Subject: RHIZOME DIGEST: 08.06.06
Date: Sun, 6 Aug 2006 22:51:55 -0700

RHIZOME DIGEST: August 06, 2006


1. Ana Carvalho: second call for papers
2. catforster AT LiveBox gallery Open CAll

3. Turbulence: Turbulence Commission: "Machine Fragments" by Onomé Ekeh
4. ryan griffis: Fwd: There Has Been a Change of Plan
5. fanny AT NextNew2006: Art and Technology opens in San Jose in
conjunction with ISEA
6. Neural: Interferenze 2006, Naturalis Electronica

7. Ryan Griffis, Alexis Turner, Jim Andrews,
salvatore.iaconesi AT, marc, "T.Whid", mark cooley, manik,
Patrick Lichty, Steve OR Steven Read: Re: net art? [Thread 2]

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From: Ana Carvalho <iana34 AT>
Date: Aug 1, 2006
Subject: second call for papers

You might have already heard of, or even already be a
contributor to, the VJ Theory project.
If you haven't then the project falls into two areas:
samples of work from the forthcoming book and the
project/community which lives at:

This project intends to develop a community actively
discussing and reflecting on philosophy and theory
related with Vjing and realtime interaction.

It is apparent, during workshops and discussions at
Festivals and symposia, that practitioners of both
VJing and Interactive Installations will quickly move
on from problems with the practicalities of production
to more complex ideas of how and why the process has,
for example, significance for the viewer.

There is a lack of written texts on the philosophies
and theories related with VJing and realtime

This project and the associated book, aim to bring
together work by some of the foremost practitioners
and academics in the field.

We aim to produce a body of work which, for the first
time, will address these theoretical issues and place
the practices of VJing and Interactive Installation,
into a useful context.

Although we have received an excellent response in
contributions for the book, there are also areas that,
we as editors, feel need to be developed more.

Areas we still need material:

Politics (activism, guerrilla, community focused
realtime interaction and performance)
Intellectual property
DIY culture
Realtime interaction and performance as developing
tools (pd/GEM/Arduino or MAX/MSP/Jitter as used in
performance programming for example)

If you know of any text which address these areas in
relation to realtime interaction (either published or
not) then please let us know.

We also welcome other contributions you might have to
the content of the web site

We are accepting full texts, between 3000 and 5000
Deadline for submissions: 31st August

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From: catforster AT <catforster AT>
Date: Aug 5, 2006
Subject: LiveBox gallery Open CAll

LiveBox Gallery

Mod 70s Show OPEN CALL

LiveBox Gallery issues an open call for its? Mod 70s show. Single channel
video and animation interpreting or inspired by the pop culture happening
labeled ?MOD 70s?, will be screened at Hejfina, in the Bucktown
neighborhood of Chicago. Hejfina is a boutique on a main shopping street
in Chicago. The space also serves as an interactive design lab, hosting
installations by up and coming Chicago artists and various speakers on
current topics in art and architecture. All submissions must be suitable
for open public viewing. Work will be screened through Hejfina?s shop
window and inside the store. Work screened on the window monitor will not
have audio. Inside monitors will have audio and video.

Submissions must be received by October 1st.

Format: All entries must include a "digital" (CD) resume, bio, artist
statement and short synopsis of the project, and jpg images. Video should
be NTSC DVD, if your piece is in PAL, please send mini DV tape. Please use
a standard DVD case (7?X5?) not a cassette case, and pack in bubble
envelop. Note materials will not be returned, unless specifically
requested. Please note whether you would be willing to screen your work
silently on the window monitor.

For additional information, check submissions on the website
Or contact Catherine Forster at liveboxg AT (815) 236 5692.

Send to:
Catherine Forster
LiveBox submissions
1031 North Shore Dr
Crystal lake, IL 60014

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From: Turbulence <turbulence AT>
Date: Jul 31, 2006
Subject: Turbulence Commission: "Machine Fragments" by Onomé Ekeh

July 31, 2006
Turbulence Commission: "Machine Fragments" by Onomé Ekeh
Needs Flash player 8+ and speakers; optimized for Internet Explorer and

Perhaps the question, "Can Machines Think"? should be re-articulated as "Is
the Machine different from you or I"? Why is there a perceptive gap between
our tools and ourselves? Do they also not constitute consciousness and by
extension the body?

The cultural schisms that generate this differentiation between "man" and
"machine" are also responsible for spawning voids and displacements ? and
the ghosts that inhabit them. It is these ghosts who constitute "Machine
Fragments." Machine Fragments are essentially sound fictions spun from the
perspective of sentient machines, testing humans for machine intelligence.
Not so much to expose the machinic dimension in humans (we suspected as
much), but to arouse the sense that "Machine" is also a kind of gender.

"Machine Fragments" is a 2005 commission of New Radio and Performing Arts,
Inc., (aka Ether-Ore) for its Turbulence web site. It was made possible with
funding from The Greenwall Foundation.


Born and raised on most sides of the Atlantic, Onomé Ekeh started out as a
painter, gravitated towards design and fell in love with cinema. The
collusion effect is a lifelong fascination with hybrid forms of media and
their perpetuation in contemporary culture. Ekeh has written for film, and
literary and technological journals both in Europe and the United States;
produced works for theater; and created "radio fictions." She is a frequent
collaborator in a number of cross-disciplinary projects. She lives in New
York City and has been the recipient of several fellowships and grant awards
including the Jerome Foundation/Media Alliance (2000); Harvestworks Digital
Media Center Artist-In-Residence (2002). Ekeh is currently a Fellow at the
Kunstlerhaus Buchsenhausen in Austria.

For more information about Turbulence, please visit

Jo-Anne Green, Co-Director
New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc.:
New York: 917.548.7780 ? Boston: 617.522.3856
New American Radio:
Networked_Performance Blog:
Upgrade! Boston:

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From: ryan griffis <ryan.griffis AT>
Date: Jul 28, 2006
Subject: Fwd: There Has Been a Change of Plan

Begin forwarded message:

> Raqs Media Collective : 'There Has Been a Change of Plan'
> (Selected Works 2002-2006)
> Nature Morte Gallery, A 1 Neeti Bagh, New Delhi
> August 5 - 26, 2006
> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
> Sometimes, adjustments have to be made. Schedules need calibration.
> There are contingencies, questions, obstinate demands, weak excuses,
> strong desires. You return to the city you never left. You pause,
> take
> stock. Sit still and let a conversation begin. Maybe?
> Around you, aeroplanes sit on wooden platforms in a wilderness like
> widows on a funeral pyre. Clocks measure fatigue, anxiety and modest
> epiphanies across latitudes. A door to nowhere stands obstinately
> against the sky. All your cities are a blur.
> "Do you like looking at maps?"
> Meanwhile, measures are taken, shoes lost and found, ghost stories
> gather, the city whispers conspiracies to itself, the situation is
> tense but under control. Someone offers you a postcard.
> Now: Let's see what happens.
> -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
> Raqs Media Collective is pleased to announce its first solo
> exhibition
> in Delhi - 'There Has Been A Change of Plan' at Nature Morte Gallery.
> The exhibition features selected works (2002 - 2006) in the form of
> cross media installations with networked computers, objects,
> postcards,
> video, sound, prints and projections.
> Works exhibited include: 'Lost New Shoes', selections from 'A Measure
> of Anacoustic Reason', 'Location (n)', '28.28 N / 77.15 E :: 2001/02
> (Co-Ordinates of Everyday Life, Delhi 2001-2002)', 'Erosion by
> Whispers', 'Preface to a Ghost Story' and 'There Has Been a Change of
> Plan'. (See Details in PDF attatchment with this mail)
> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
> About Raqs Media Collective
> (Excerpt from the Wikipedia Entry on Raqs Media Collective -
> Raqs Media Collective was formed in 1992 by independent media
> practitioners Jeebesh Bagchi, Monica Narula and Shuddhabrata
> Sengupta.
> Based in Delhi, their work engages with urban spaces and global
> circuits, persistently welding a sharp, edgily contemporary sense of
> what it means to lay claim to the world from the streets of Delhi. At
> the same time, Raqs articulates an intimately lived relationship with
> myths and histories of diverse provenances. Raqs sees its work as
> opening out a series of investigations with image, sound, software,
> objects, performance, print, text and lately, curation, that straddle
> different (and changing) affective and aesthetic registers,
> expressing
> an imaginative unpacking of questions of identity and location, a
> deep
> ambivalence towards modernity and a quiet but consistent critique of
> the operations of power and property.
> In 2001 Raqs co-founded Sarai ( at the Centre for the
> Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) in Delhi where they coordinate
> media productions, pursue and administer independent research and
> practice projects and also work as members of the editorial
> collective
> of the Sarai Reader series. For Raqs, Sarai is a space where they
> have
> the freedom to pursue interdisciplinary and hybrid contexts for
> creative work and to develop a sustained engagement with urban space
> and with different forms of media.

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From: fanny AT <fanny AT>
Date: Aug 1, 2006
Subject: NextNew2006: Art and Technology opens in San Jose in conjunction
with ISEA

San Jose, CA ?The San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) is proud to
present the second annual NextNew opening on August 8th at our new
location: 560 South First Street. This year, we have asked five
well-established Bay Area new media artists to each choose a ?next new?
artistic talent on the horizon. NextNew2006: Art and Technology will
feature the technology-based work of Anthony Discenza, Kota Ezawa, Ken
Goldberg, Ed Osborn, and Julia Page who all accepted our invitation to
provide a visionary look at what the next new trends, movements, and/or
ideas will be through the work of five emerging artists. Those ?next new?
artists are Nate Boyce, Elise Irving, Daniel Massey, Joe McKay, and
Stephanie Syjuco.

NextNew2006 will coincide with the ISEA2006 Symposium on Electronic Art
and the ZeroOne San Jose Global Festival of Art on the Edge, both of which
will take place August 7 ? 13. The ISEA Symposium is a prestigious
international art and technology conference that is sponsored biennially
by the Netherlands-based Inter-Society for Electronic Art (ISEA). Every
other year, cities around the world bid to host the symposium and this
year it will be held in San Jose. ZeroOne is a milestone festival that
will be held biennially in San Jose, making the work of the most
innovative contemporary artists in the world accessible to an audience
that is expected to come from around the world.

In combination with NextNew2006, on Saturday, August 12th, the night of
the ISEA Festival SoFA Block Party, the ICA and new media artist Clive
McCarthy will present A Painting Performance, a multi-media, interactive
street event in front of the former ICA location at 451 South First
Street. McCarthy will create a dynamic architectural portrait that is a
unique combination of cutting-edge technology and traditional painting and
music, performed in front of a live audience.

The NextNew2006: Art and Technology exhibition at the ICA and the
accompanying Clive McCarthy performance raise significant and relevant
questions for the viewing audience regarding issues of technology?s place
and impact on contemporary art and culture. They are unique additions to
the art and technology activities that will be taking place throughout the
city during the Symposium and Festival.

NextNew2006 and A Painting Performance are funded in part by Applied
Materials Excellence in the Arts: a program of Arts Council Silicon Valley
and a grant from the Fleishhacker Foundation.

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BNMI Announces International Co-production Labs
BNMI has launched its new co-production residency model which includes
three exceptional programs led by three peer advisors. Apply today for one
of these outstanding opportunities!

Co-production Lab: Almost Perfect
Program Dates: November 5 - December 2, 2006
Application Deadline: July 15, 2006
Peer Advisors: Chantal Dumas (CND), Paula Levine (CND/US), Julian Priest
(DK, UK)

Co-production Lab: Liminal Screen
Program Dates: March 5 - March 30, 2007
Application Deadline: October 2, 2006
Peer Advisors: Willy Le Maitre, (CND) Kate Rich (UK), Amra Baksic Camo (Bih)

Co-production Lab: Reference Check
Program Dates: June 24 - July 21, 2007
Application Deadline: December 1, 2006
Peer Advisors: Andreas Broeckmann (De), Anne Galloway (CND), Sarat Maharaj

For more information visit:
or email <bnmi_info AT>

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From: Neural <a.ludovico AT>
Date: Aug 3, 2006
Subject: Interferenze 2006, Naturalis Electronica

INTERFERENZE 2006, Naturalis Electronica

With its 2006 edition, INTERFERENZE,
international festival of sounds, new visual arts
and media, is seated in the mountains of the
partenio / Valle Caudina, which it will fill live
performances, installations, projections,
seminars, free camping, artists and public.
Although INTERFERENZE is tied to the land,
electronic and multimedia arts are its driving
force: performances, installations, events,
workshops and conferences complete the event.
INTERFERENZE confirms its traditional division
into three thematic macroareas: 1) SOUNDS, with
laptop culture artists; 2) NEW MEDIA, video,
software art and new technologies; 3) TALKS,
WORKSHOPS, CONFERENCES. A new section will form
focused on the interconnection between electronic
arts and the rural.

The program


h. 16 - Area Workshop: 'Digital Provinces'
"Innovation for the touristic development"
Roberto Formato

h. 17:30 - Area Workshop:
"Building Solar Powered Robots"
by Ralf Schreiber [Germany]

h. 19 - Area Workshop:
Slow Food gastronomic workshop about mushrooms and truffles:
"Tuber Aestivum Boletusque"

h. 20 - Area Click'n'Food:
"Verdichtung von: Valle Caudina" / "Condensation of: Valle Caudina"
a gastroacoustic performance by Ulrich & Kassian
Troyer and Philip Furtenbach [Austria]

h. 21 - Cage Stage:
"Info Naturae 1.0"
an audio/video performance by
Emanuele Errante + Kinotek [Italy]

Tape [Sweden]

h. 23 - Moog Stage:
Emi Maeda + Lia [Japan/Austria]
audio (harp + electronics)/video

an audio/video performance by
O.blaat [Japan]

Biosphere [Norway]


h. 16 - Area Workshop:
'Digital Provinces'
"Information technologies for developing countries"
by Ingegneria Senza Frontiere - Sezione Napoli

h. 17:30 - Area Workshop:
"Mobile Devices for Art and Experimentation"
by IMPROVe (Zeenath Hasan, Richard Widerberg) [Finland]

h. 19:15 - Area Workshop:
Slow Food gastronomic workshop about wines:
"Vitia Vinorum"

h. 20:15 - Area Click'n'Food:
"Verdichtung von: Vallecaudina" / "Condensation of: Valle Caudina"
a gastroaocustic performance by Ulrich & Kassian
Troyer and Philip Furtenbach [Austria]

h. 21:15 - Cage Stage:
Deaf Center [Norway]

Elio Martusciello, Salvatore Borrelli [Italy]

h. 23 - Moog Stage:
AGF [Germany]

Vladislav Delay [Finland]

Deadbeat [Canada]


h. 12 - Area Workshop:
"An Earful of Italy. An Acoustic Ecology project for Valle Caudina"
Dinahbird [UK], Jean-Philippe Renoult [France], Kate Sieper [Australia]

h. 16 - Area Workshop:
'Digital Provinces'
"MAO - Media Arts & Office onlus preview"
Vito Campanelli, Francesco Quarto

'Digital Provinces'
open session:
"Esperienze e sfide per il mondo Open Source nelle Province Meridionali"
Mario Torre, CTO SO.PR.IND. srl: "Open Source e Pubblica Amministrazione"
Daniel Donato, Hackaserta 81100: "Free Software,
filosofia e case studies di successo"
Fausto Napolitano, ADDs Security: "Open Source e
Sicurezza nelle Piccole e Medie Imprese"
Vito Campanelli e Francesco Quarto, MAO - Media &
Arts Office: "Open Source, Culture e Arti
Alessandro Ludovico, Neural: "Open Source at
large, prodotti collettivi dentro e fuori lo
ISF (Sezione di Napoli): "Webgis su piattaforma freesoftware"

h. 17 - Area Workshop:
mobile art live:
"An Earful of Italy, Collective Performance"
Dinahbird [UK], Jean-Philippe Renoult [France],
Kate Sieper [Australia] + IMPROVe (Zeenath Hasan,
Richard Widerberg) [Finland]

h. 18:30 - Area Workshop:
Slow Food gastronomic workshop about wines and cheeses:
"Tres Casei, Tria Vina"

h. 20 - Area Click'n'Food:
"Verdichtung von: Vallecaudina" / "Condensation of: Valle Caudina"
a gastroaocustic performance by Ulrich & Kassian Troyer and Philip Furtenbach

h. 21 - Cage Stage:
The Sine Wave Orchestra [Japan]
audio/sine wave

Zavoloka [Ukraine]

"Behind the Eyes"
a dance/sound performance by
Gabriella Cerritelli + [Italy]

h. 23:30 - Moog Stage:
Background / A Touch of Class night
additional visuals Brutus [Italy]:

Warmdesk [USA]

Repeat Orchestra [Germany]

Andy Vaz [Germany]

3/4/5 August

h. 19/02 - Area Deleuze:

Semiconductor [UK]:
"Worlds in Flux"

"Big Bang - Restarting the Natural World":

Tanja Puustelli [Finland]
"Milking the Cow"

Alan Sondheim [USA]

Anders Weberg & Robert Willim [Sweden]
"Surreal Scania"

Doron Golan [Israel/USA]

Scott Hessels & Gabriel Dunne [USA]
"Celestial Mechanics"

Jeffers Egan & Jake Mandell [USA]

Lorenzo Oggiano [Italy]
Vita Berezina-Blackburn [Russia]
"Benign Beings"

Onoxo [Croatia]
"Clean Exp M"

Bianco-Valente [Italy]

Brian Kim Stefans [USA]
"VEX #5"

Andrea Melloni [Italy]
"Microsoundscape #1"

h. 19/02 - Area Workshop:

Marianne Decoster-Taivalkoski [Finland]

"Living Particles"
Ralf Schreiber [Germany]

"Process 6,7,8"
Casey Reas [USA]

"Puppet Tool" - "Pâté à Son"
LeCielEstBleu [France]


Alessandro Ludovico
Neural Magazine - English
( Italian
Latest Printed Issue -
Subscribe -

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + 2005-2006 Net Art Commissions

The Rhizome Commissioning Program makes financial support available to
artists for the creation of innovative new media art work via
panel-awarded commissions.

For the 2005-2006 Rhizome Commissions, eleven artists/groups were selected
to create original works of net art.

The Rhizome Commissions Program is made possible by support from the
Jerome Foundation in celebration of the Jerome Hill Centennial, the
Greenwall Foundation, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and
the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. Additional support has
been provided by members of the Rhizome community.

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From: Ryan Griffis <ryan.griffis AT>, Alexis Turner
<subbies AT>, Jim Andrews <jim AT>,
salvatore.iaconesi AT <salvatore.iaconesi AT>, marc
<marc.garrett AT>, "T.Whid" <twhid AT>, mark cooley
<flawedart AT>, manik <manik AT>, Patrick Lichty
<voyd AT>, Steve OR Steven Read <steveread AT>
Date: Jul 28 - August 6, 2006
Subject: Re: net art? [Thread 2]

+Ryan Griffis posted:+

On Jul 28, 2006, at 5:07 PM, Alexis Turner wrote:
> On the contrary, I'm suggesting that culture is made up of many,
> many things and
> evolves for many, many reasons, not merely the trite and lame
> argument that we
> are capitalist whores.

it's equally lame and trite to equate capitalism with economic
determinism. i don't think Mark ever made such a lazy equation. i also
don't think anyone's talking about "culture" in some larger,
universalizing sense. Of course culture is made of many things. You don't
have to be Levi-Strauss to state that. But one can look for dominant
systems within different contexts, and not fall into some relativistic
paralysis. You also don't have to buy classical economic theory (or
simplified marxism) to use the identifier "capitalism" and attempt a
critique of
it. Good lord, the Frankfurt School established that more than 60 years
ago, if Marx didn't first. We can write that off as academic hoo-ha, but
then we can write off anything if it doesn't suit our needs/ reaffirm our
ideas. i don't buy the totality of psychoanalysis, but i also don't think
it's all crap either. Capitalism is a broad ideology, and arguably the one
most directing our way of life. If you don't think so, i'd like to hear
another suggestion. And not just another analysis of how economics is
REALLY just the expression of other psycho-social desires. duh. Maybe the
label is losing its usefulness here, but that's another discussion. i
don't know what this is about any more, but i've contributed my worthless,
non-art-related rant nonetheless :)

+Alexis Turner replied:+

Okay then. I think the real discussion we are all having boils down to
whether net art as has been practiced is "dead" or still evolving.
Personally, I say neither. I say it hasn't been born yet at all.

The Internet in its current incarnation is broken. It's dying. It's a
short matter of time before it is supplanted by something we don't even
begin to envision right now. So, quite simply, the thing we are calling
"net art" right now will not have a chance to figure out how to work
before its vehicle is completely snatched out from underfoot.

So, for those who want to move on to bigger and better things: bully for
you -
that's the right attitude, even though what you discover tomorrow is going to
be looked at as ancient and retarded by the new turks in 2 years. Enjoy
being a turk now. You don't have an inkling where we will be, but you keep
trying, and what else can you do? You might as well wring the life out of
thing while it is here. Plus, hell, it will put you in a better position to
understand where we end up, and maybe even guide the way just a little.

For those of you getting misty eyed over the lack of rumination in the field,
you are both right and doomed. No art can be worth the pot it's pissed in if
there's nothing "behind" it, and this is exactly why the majority of current
net art sucks, and hard. That said, the Internet as it stands right now is
a tiny, meteoric spark that is gleaming its last gleam. By the time you
how to make net art that is worthwhile, it will be too late and you will
have to
start over from scratch. That is not to say that reflection is not a
goal, but to pine for the days when one could spend 30 years perfecting
of a medium exhibits an inherent lack of understanding of this particular
medium. The very act of creating with it, of making it do beautiful or
interesting things no one has thought of is the very act that causes it to

So the issue about capitalism turning us all into consumers thirsting
for the next big thing is misguided. It isn't about capitalism. It isn't
about handy, tried and true paradigms that we all have in our back pockets
to pull out as the bogeyman/trump card whenever we think a system is flawed.
It's about real people, big researchers and the little basement hobbyists
intrigued by, pushing, hacking, tinkering, and ultimately being dissatisfied
with an incomplete system. The Internet has a potential that hasn't been
realized, and pushing to make it
better, rather than sitting and mulling over a broken system without
fixing it
(because it demands our contemplation), is what people that realize this do.
Not because they have already consumed it and crapped it out, not because
they are bored with it, but because they realize it has an untapped
potential that would be criminal not to try and discover.

+[In response to an earlier message from Mark Cooley,] Alexis Turner added:+

::are you really suggesting that a society's
::visual culture evolves independently from it's political and economic

On the contrary, I'm suggesting that culture is made up of many, many
things and
evolves for many, many reasons, not merely the trite and lame argument
that we
are capitalist whores. The specific phenomena you mentioned
(the incessant need to move on to newer and cooler things) is the
subject of the article I linked to, and, as such, it would probably be an
interesting read for you, regardless of whether you or I or anyone else
that newer and better is a worthwhile goal or an empty one.

So here's that link again for anyone who missed it the first time:

+Jim Andrews replied:+

One of the forms I've been working in since about 99 is interactive audio
for the Web.

But I don't think it's over and here's why.

First, I do think that certain sub-areas have been explored to the point
where it would be hard to make something in those areas that was
sufficiently original to be taken seriously as *new art* ("new" not simply
in the temporal sense but conceptual sense), though the piece might have
other significance.

But there are whole areas of interactive audio for the Web that have not
been addressed very well yet, and interesting approaches to these areas
can be both taken seriously as new art and also have other significance.

For instance, although the Web and Net have changed the business and
distribution of music via things such as P2P, how much have they actually
changed music itself? Not much. What hasn't happened very much yet is the
development of distinctive forms of music arising from the Web and Net.
Though you can hear intimations of it in several pieces at .

But i think one of the problems concerning why this hasn't happened yet is
its going to require a fairly high level of programming together with
innovative musicianship. Whereas the plink and plunk stage of interactive
music for the Web is more or less over in terms of generating
significantly *new* art. The inroads from here on in concerning *new*
interactive audio for the Web are going to come from the sorts of artists
Pall alludes to. He says

"The difference between work done by people who have really taken the
time to discover, understand and conquer (or succumb to) their chosen
medium or media and the work done by those who barely spend enough
time with it to scratch the surface before they move on to something
else, is huge."

There's nothing nostalgic about this point of view.

Also, the notion that artists who barely spend enough time with a form to
scratch the surface can kill off an art with their minor explorations,
which seems to be what M. River is implying, doesn't hold a lot of water.
Unless the art somehow could only support shallowness.

Innovation can happen at the shallow levels of art, such as being the
first to use a technology, or at deeper levels. I think it's important to
challenge ourselves to try to distinguish between shallow innovation and
deeper achievement in innovation.

But there's always some other agenda below the surface in claims about
this or that being dead or alive. Recently I read people associated with
Processing saying "the productive phase of Shockwave experiments" is over.
You have to consider the source.

+salvatore.iaconesi AT replied:+

once i was just plain tired.. i used to do strange stuff at rave parties
or in other peculiar situations... and if i said i made digital art they
went like "oh, so are you a dj or a vj"? :)

mixing medias is a great idea. leveraging the paths to "globality" offered
by netart is another wonderfully great idea.

but/and we're stuck in this physical world: we want to see humans, touch
humans, talk to humans. the human body, the physical environment,
hierarchy ... we want it and we aim to be part of it.

i would love a world where a netart performance could get me the effects
i get, let's say, with a live performance with a nice lady getting icons
body-painted while my software automas eat everything up and show it on a
projection screen.

other things that are, possibly, more beautiful just don't get the same
the physical body is so strong, and it is a preferential path to the mind.

the real problem is: why am i so much happier if i see 100 people enjoy a
live performance of mine than if i see a web counter telling me 100 people
browsed a netart piece of mine for a couple of hours each?

even if the concept is so much stronger ...

it's like when you play electronic music along with analog intruments.. when
a "real" guitar joins in you, simply, notice it, and it stands out.

nothing's dead and all medias have same dignity. and, possibly, everything
can be used as a lesson.

i am a nerd. :) i love what i do with technology. i have a fetish for
and, specifically, for networks.

but i am a punkish nerd. i need the feel of the body as well.

when i added "post-media" to the discussion, i was talking about this. post
media could have been my little heaven, joining tech and body. instead it
has become, too many times, a way to gratify the body, sacrificing the
it looks as if people are so much happier if they have something nice to
show "live" in a nice and famous venue (and possibly sell it), than to create
something *really* significative on the web, for example.

"I did this beautiful project on the web, and i showed it at the MOMA" :)

the concept shifts.

I saw loads of beautiful things hanging on walls, coming out from beautifully
written software: paintings, for example. but what's the point?

it's not that i don't like them, and contaminating other disciplines has
a meaning in itself, too. it's just that you loose the grasp on the
you easily become *another* artist trying to sell something "hanging on a

does pureness pay?

i don't kow. all i know is that i'm getting loads of festival invitations
to perform the "digital sabba" (a performance on mysticism where a ritual
is decontextualized into a digitally mystical one.. the lady dances, a guy
gets tied, live music performance, body art and software automas doing
esotheric stuff). And i'm receiving none for let's say, OpenSourceIdentities
(a website where you post your personal data, ID scans, email address
grocery list .... a self-spyware ), which is a much more powerful concept,
but it doesn't have the lovely lady in it :)

+marc replied:+

Hi Silva & all,

As many probably know from long ago on this list, I have been very much
pro- net art, and still am. At Furtherfield, we still view Net Art as
being a main interest and passion, even though we have adapted with the
aim of exploration, not because net art is dying but because we feel
that it is expanding its roots into multi-various forms of creative
outreach, and contemporary contexts.

I personally come from a place of activism, art and networked
consciousness, linking very much with a net art focus - not from a film
perspective, 'soft cinema' (Manovich etc).

I feel that there has been a divide between those who have officially
been placed in the history books as 'net.artists' and those seen as 'net
artists', and because only a few top names have been repeatedly banded
about as the main figures of this net-based creativity, Internet art
suffered a kind of cultural drought. Which is not good for any artist
working in such closely related mediums. Although, things are changing.

There have been certain curators who have kept on showing the same old
faces, over and over again - who have not opened up their curatorial
remits for other lesser known creatives, who may not be using the same
inscribed protocols, or academic language to justify their intentions.

"In my opinion is pretty much what can be thought of a movement,
both geographically and chronolically defined... eventually died..."

Net.Art did not die - it became a historical commodity for those who
planned it in such a way. It was not the boom that shattered the
(hoped) growth of the movement, it was those who decided to hand in
their cultural cache at that time to move on to different pastures so
that they could move into a gallery system, keeping themselves valid in
a curatorial context.

"and net art or internet art became the standard category for online
based artistic projects..."

I feel that net art has always been (officially) a sub-category, along
side, in terms of institutional control. They both happened at
the same time as far as I am concerned - net art, is probably a poorer
relative of the very well promoted and deliberately inserted form of

In fact, I suppose net art, was the main movement and was a
smaller more specific, trendier, personality driven and modernist
proposed version of it. It worked well for those who really believed in
the myth of the artist as 'star' so that they could get a piece of the
'heroic-artist' pie.

The irony is that, some of these groups such as are
actually brilliant (well i think so), as well being supporting by such
systems - so it is not as black and white as some of us would wish to
presume - just because certain groups get recognised and supported does
not mean that they are evil - it has much more to do with the culture
around it, and what ethical responsibilities were seriously explored (if
any) by the more centralized, 'top-down' orientated organizations, such
as ars electronica and 'older' rhizome - remits.

I say 'old' rhizome because it seems that the new rhizome, in its
character, even though it is not primarily net art focused alone, in its
behaviour is net art, and the new team of rhizome have made a tremendous
effort to break down the older more centralized way of being, that it
was once. It seems less elitist, and more open minded in the way that it
engages, in working with people who use the list these days, and willing
to try out a few things.

Let's not forget that net art is also thriving elsewhere, other than
just on this list and on rhizome - the syndicate mailing list still has
some serious net artists working on there, such as Auriea Harvey
(entropy8zuper) and lo_y, and a dynamic (sometimes scary) community,
dedicated to net art, and related contexts. and more of course...

I was with, in the early days - working with Heath Bunting
on various projects. The Cybercafe BBS, and Savage yet tender pirate
radio and alternative networked art projects, that hacked phones
(phreaking) and other things - but was much more interested in more
collaborative net art and the communities that formed with it, and those
who were not seen as, still am. Even though I value some these
net.artists and what they have given our culture, I also wish that some
them were less desperate in getting their own names known and more
interested in breaking down the patriarchal barriers that supported
their endeavours.

Some of the net.artists out there are still radical, yet there are those
who pretend that they are great by proposing themselves as great, as
(supposed) brilliant academics who are really just interested in power
alone and where that gets them - I see these types, as weak and shallow
individuals, hiding behind institutional walls, rather than changing
institutions for the better - cowards.

The spirit of, has been supported by net art - and those
net.artists owe much to net art for bringing in a larger audience and
context, which has at the same time kept it all alive.

Net art lives on but in various forms. I have been involved in 3 new
classes last year, where students are exploring and learning about net
art as part of the curriculum, I teach a balanced version of what that
is, featuring those who have not been allowed into the hall of fame as
'', as well as those who have...

Now history is being rewritten - at last by young new writers who are
not diverted by the pressure of 'star' orientated fractions,
which is beginning to include those who were left out and others who did
not quite fit the prescribed remit of institutional, academic laziness.
In fact, I think that it is a great time to be doing net art :-)


In my opinion is pretty much what can be thought of a movement,
both geographically and chronolically defined... eventually
died... and net art or internet art became the standard category for
online based artistic projects...

+T.Whid posted [with new subject line, ' implosion killed net art?':+

Hi all,

re: the discussion about netart being

There has been several assertions made that the bust poured
cold water on the movement but I wanted to look at it a little more

As some of you know, M.River and I were very much involved with the
netart movement from 97 onward. I was also working within
bubble at the time and was very attuned to its movements.

I remember knowing there was trouble with the bubble in mid-'00. Then,
by late 00/early 01, it was obvious to everyone that the burst had
happened. (See this graph of the nasdaq:

I was out of work in early/mid 00 and it was super-easy to get a gig at the time due to the fact that the forward momentum of
companies isn't as easily stopped as the rise of their stock price.

Remembering the crash, I was thinking at the time that it *would*
throw cold water on the netart movement and thinking that it didn't
seem to be happening.

Probably due to the fact that museums and art institutions are even
slower moving than businesses, it took a good year or two after the burst for the net art fad to fizzle in the art institutions.
Not to say that the collapse didn't help cause it, but it took
a while for it to be felt.

+ marc replied:+

Hi T.Whid & all,

>Remembering the crash, I was thinking at the time that it *would*
throw cold water on the netart movement and thinking that it didn't
seem to be happening.

As long as one has a computer that is connected to another computer, or
network, or Internet - netart will go on, no matter what other so
called 'knowing' individuals would prefer us to think.

The idea of netart and the death of it has come up so many times on
this list, one would have to think - how many times can it die if it
did, which of course, it is not dead - it's mythology and political to
want it to...

+marc added:+

>the important question
> is whether or not netart will be *relevant* in the future. By
> relevant I mean, relevant to collectors, art-thinkers, other artists,
> curators, gallerists, etc etc. After all, isn't that what people mean
> when they speculate whether or not a certain art form/medium/technique
> is 'dead?'

Regarding collections and commissions - I know that the Tate Gallery in
the UK collect various netart works. Which is a positive step in
respect of on-line archiving and getting it seen to a wider audience out
there. Also, groups like V2, have been supporting media art and netart
in various ways.

I am not so worried about netart as some, and think that netart is
alive and kicking and that it is moving into different areas, networked
and through different activities that may not immediately look like net
art but, has its spirit and is influenced by what it still is and was,
possessing contexts that work to inform this contemporary creativity.

A good example is Node.London, which was a
decentralized, networked, consensus based (most of the time) and used
regions (areas, places) as nodes around the whole of London -
representing netart and media arts for a month. To be honest - we were
not prepared for the amount of people who would get involved to show
their work - in the end we had too many venues and far too many events,
artists through the month. On one hand, certain 'sack-heads' would go
for the obvious and unimaginative retort and say 'hey - there was too
much and you were not able to deal with the overload', my retort would
be 'calm down and breath the creative air - you have just experienced a
change in culture, and the doors were opened and now we are seeing more
media art and netart than what we all thought was actually there.'

By exploring open source, using its methodology and practise, which is
strongly connected to D.I.Y culture and social contexts - London
experienced something special and different for a change, and it was a
change. There are some who would rather that it did not happen, they are
the people who would prefer such creativity to stay contained, and not
be seen. So that they could provide their own limited canon, regarding
what it is that we are all involved in - by taking control of our own
culture, we create more outlets for others to be let in and get more
involved, which can't be bad thing...

And of course, netart in its pure form is still being made.

Such as:
Slippage -

OneSmallStep -

Oil Standard -

The Danube Panorama Project -

Glitchbrowser -

There's loads more I could mention and probably should do but do not
possess time to do so, but in other projects...

I am not worried about history, only that in the recent past that the
wrong people have been writing about it - if we make sure that we are
doing our best to change things by either creating it, showing it,
writing about it, talking about it, using it and getting on with it -
then we can let history look after itself, for we are making history
right now.

I feel that sometimes (including myself here) that, we are actually more
in control of our own histories than we originally may have thought. I
mean, we are the 1st generation to have such networks at hand to help us
contact others outside of our nations, to promote, explore dialogue and
present and share our creative endeavours.

If net art does die, it will die not because it is dead or killed by
anyone (they are not worth listening too) but more because it lives via
mutation, beyond its original forms/medium and reliving its essence
through our own influencing agency.

+Ryan Griffis replied:+

> IMHO, mail art is more-or-less irrelevant. I don't want that to happen
> to net art.

i guess such a concept depends on the understanding of both "mail
art" and "irrelevant" though... personally, i always had a hard time
thinking about "mail art" as defined by the medium, and the same is
true for me when thinking about "net art."
Thinking about both within a larger process that could be called
"networked" (ala Saper) makes more sense to me. Interesting "mail
art" IMHO is not reducible to the medium, although it's not separable
from it either.
in my amateur opinion, the expansion of net art reflects a
recognition of "net" as short for "network" not "Internet." Don't get
me wrong, there's lots of formal and conceptual specificity to the
Internet (and down into its widely used components of the web, email,
IRC, etc) that HAS to be considered and can't be overlooked, at least
not in a formal, political and historical context. But i would also
propose that the Internet occurs within an even larger context, so
does the art happening because of it - as twhid's account of the dot
com boom/bust anecdotally assumes.
Of course, there is a lot to be critical of here, especially as it
relates to the conditions/demands of the "market" and notions of
The most interesting/relevant net art work for me, is that which
situates the specificity of network technology within the systems
that give it value (whether that's idiosyncratic, Political,
tactical, sexual, whatever).
So i can't see claiming that "mail art" is irrelevant... in some ways
that project by Mandiberg that won a RHZ commission brings together
"mail art"
and "net art" by engaging the ecological politics of the virtual
economy. In an updated anthology of mail art, i would include that
project, even though it doesn't USE mail, it is dependent on it.
no one asked what i thought, but there it is anyway :)

+Jim Andrews replied:+

i wonder how economic factors affect art in different places. for instance,
in large cities, where everything is so expensive, i wonder if the 'value'
(in the broadest sense) of something like netart is more inflected with
economic associations than in smaller places. if an art does not or cannot
establish an explicit economy of the art object and, further, the economic
culture (dotcom industry in this case) tanks, people in larger cities may
find the art increasingly difficult to fund even indirectly, and this
diminishment in the economic value of the whole activity results in less
involvement all round in the art. which brings about also not simply a
diminishment in the economic 'value' of the activity but a subjective change
in the perceived 'value' of the art or activity.

whereas in smaller places, where it's sometimes more possible to do things
that aren't necessarily funded (if anything at all is to be done), the
economic state of the art is not as influential. and people in smaller
places can mistake the influence of economic imperative in larger cities for
shallow, fickle fashion-mindedness whereas it's mostly people going where
there are at least a few dollars to pay the rent and get paid for work in
places that are outrageously expensive and, even at the best of times,
artists have to spend more time paying the rent than making art.

and, in smaller places, the big city collectors, curators, publishers,
patrons and gallerists etc are more or less out of reach anyway, ie, that
'economy' is 'irrelevant' to getting on with things, is no help. and,
similarly, in the big cities, notions of the value of art that are not
predicated on some sort of pseudo economic market value are insupportable by
the above logic.

or am i all wet on this?

also, compare the 'economy' of visual art with literary art. ezra pound once
remarked 'It's true there's no money in poetry. But, then, there's no poetry
in money, either." the ragged 'economy' of poetry trades in things like
teaching positions and who publishes your work and who writes about it, not
at all in the monetary worth of the work itself, because everybody is
penniless in that regard.

+mark cooley posted:+

Alexis - I agree that (visual)culture is not purely economic / political,
as you say, "it is made up of many things" - nothing is monolithic is it?
but i'm also not assuming that it exists autonomous of those things
either. if we assume that visual cultures, or more specifically Art, is
at least somehow connected to political culture and economic culture then
it may be of benefit to look at how to discover where those intersections
are. especially, if we are critical of our dominant economic and
political culture (which i am). originally, i was attempting to make
connections between the classic avant garde assumption that Art can be
graphed as a progressive timeline where each turn of events leads onward
to some better future to the capitalist mode of production (and
consumption) which also makes these ideological demands. this is not new
stuff and it can hardly be dismissed outright as "crap" outright and
without argument. open a book.


> > On the contrary, I'm suggesting that culture is made up of many,
> > many things and
> > evolves for many, many reasons, not merely the trite and lame
> > argument that we
> > are capitalist whores.

+mark cooley added:+

Alexis Turner wrote:

> No, it's not new, nor is it total crap on a theoretical level - that
> said it IS
> worthless crap on a more practical level.

I think it is a mistake to seperate theory from practice. Every practice
already has a theory built in (though it often goes unrecognized as such).
Stating that a theory is not practial makes no sense as a blanket
statement. Every theory is practical given that it is not put into a
practice that runs counter to the theory's aims. Greenberg's theory may
be practical if you want to be an abstractionist, but it may seem like a
load of crap if you're into conceptual art. This is because there are two
different desires at work here. It's like when the neocons say diplomacy
doesn't work. What they mean is that diplomacy is not going to get us
what we want. We'll need a war for that.

> I certainly don't need to open
> another book on it, when there are already appoximately 25,000 books
> on the
> particular subject. If we as academics haven't identifed a connection
> between
> these topics thoroughly enough yet, let's stop kidding ourselves and
> admit we
> aren't going to until we take a different tack.

There's no "if" about it. The connections have been made. And sorry
about the crack about picking up a book - that was a little harsh.

<On the other hand, if
> we HAVE
> identified your precious connections, we obviously haven't translated
> that
> knowledge into anything productive for society at large - rather,
> we're still
> writing 25,000 MORE books rehashing the same old shit. A little air
> freshner is
> in order.

Speak for yourself. I know many artists who put theories of political
economy to work in art and their everyday lives and they are doing
productive things for society. It seems that you have contempt for
academics who just write books about theory and never do anything with it
in the world. But I'm perplexed because when someone writes on this list
attempting to discuss theory in a practical sense you react with scorn.
You've not offered any logic behind your arguments - just that you have a
general bad attitude toward looking at art as a part of a politically and
economically engaged system. I see little value in continuing.

+manik posted:+

Our meditations about interlaced,influence and connections between state in
society and it's reflection on "Art Computing"so unmistakable ignored on
Rhizome_Raw that we've finally came closer to trap/mistake we made in our
own praxis.If we talk about difficulty to see and accept something
obvious/close/near(that hurt!)how could we ask exactly the same from other
people.Other words:Arno Becker and parallel with Nazi and contemporary West
art (with special turn on"Art Computing")was wrong,same way it was wrong to
transfer whole world guilt on Eskimo and Amazonian tribes.Now we have proof
of their innocent and we could kill some children(today three years old girl
from Lebanon good train and indoctrinate could endanger American interest
on 'East'.)
What's our point?Our point's that if you couldn't,or if you refuse to
'take'our opinion about things(you are so high that our'words'hardly reach
even close to you,and if we are lucky it happen that's just mumble of
something alien,dangerous and threaten for you?But what about "Freedom of
speech"?Isn't it same time right to be listen and visible?We're free to
scream in prison America(that mean your responsibility is undoubted)make of
our,and many other countries around the world,so we suppose that's only
voice you expect to hear from,outthere-nowhere.Oh,yes,you have some employee
philosopher(Zizek for example),or artist(Cosic for example),mainly from
small countries anxious to reach West by short way.That's why Zizek take(it
was few years ago hundreds thousand of $,to "criticize"American politics,but
not so hard,it's like sado-mazo game,not snuff...).We don't want to waste
our precious time on other one.
So,Soros(George or Georgy)make ""our"" art scene in Serbia with his money
and our 'people',same as in many country in region.It'(or should we said
'he')is American product,and your responsibility for people like Soros is
undoubted.You could say what's wrong with donation for art?Nothing except
that it wasn't 'art',it's always ideology,and influence on main strategic
processes in some country.Soros,now,have concession on biggest cable net in
Serbia.And there's some money even for you-undoubted.Same as you drive with
stolen oil, my money's in your pocket(Twid know that very well).So,lets open loose essence and basic idea of rhizome in(D&G)sense,which
mean that everywhere,in every place could growth something
big,small,extraordinary or average,but it can growth and our reason for
being on is that fact,this trace of freedom.
Now is one of instrument of American hegemony more open than
ever.Manager of org.Lauren Cornel in her interview mentioned only two names
from Europe,which is proof that she have mission to destroy idea of
Rhizome in America,or she's just (politically) naive...We doubt in second
Delleuse&Guattari idea is not something untouchable and sent.actually it's
good to discus about basic thing in their philosophy,but let us from other
countries be at lest fair is big and it's
infrastructure is good and strong enough to hold out artist and other people
from all around the don't need to be one more toy in
bloody hand of American administration.

+Patrick Lichty posted:+

Hello, all,

Sorry to be so silent - have been working on a very large Intelligent
Agent (132 pp.) among other things.

This thread is very interesting, and also brings up a number of concerns.

The idea of New Media forms (or even broader techno-art forms), their
relevance, and adnerence to same by (even small) insitiutions brings up a
lot of issues. This is a conversation that I have at times when
collecting material for Intelligent Agent.

We have a mission to address New Media Art, have had (more or less) since
we started in the mid-90's. Rhizome has a mission for Net Art (insert
definition here) as well.

I'll get into the problem with definitions, then get into relevance and
and legitimacy.

I think it's agreed that we are in a genre/medium/movement that is very,
very fluid; one that changes slightly many times a year. This is due to
the exploration of rapid changes in culture, technologies, etc. that are
intrinsic to what we do.

My thought on the matter is that taxonomy tries to drive a stake and
create a larger set of meaning in the definition of art. For all my
issues with it, the name "New Media" is probably useful in that it is so
nebulous and vague.

>From this, my practice at IA has been to include things like influences on
New Media, techno-arts that are sister forms, and so on.

In my practice, I do not think I have made a piece of net art per se since
2000, with my Sprawl project for the Smithsonian. No, wait - there were a
number of live pieces I did in the last 2 years, but that's byod the

The point is that while I am not as concerned with 'net art'
specifically, I certainly do New Media on a regular basis, much of it
offline, and I am looking at things like RFID, Bluetooth, remote
observation droids, and my ongoing work in mini video devices, mobility,
and VR.

This conversation really perked up my ears. The thing that was of great
interest was that the word 'relevance' was used in the same paragraph with
'curators, gallerists, and collectors'.

This brings up the difference between artistic relevance, cultural
relevance and cultural capital.

First, one has to think about the issue of relevance as a priori
statement. When one wants to engage with relevance per se, one engages
with the desire to be placed within the communities and traditions in
society and culture at hand. Can we say that relevance is "required" or
"necessary"? Not really, but I think that Recognition is core to that
argument. The two are tightly linked, and is the subject for anoter large

In the case of artistic relevance, assuming we are talking about artists
with a good acumen for art, the 'relevant' is defined by the artist in
context with their practice. Does this form comment on the issues desired
in a way that serves the artist and the issues best, critical or formal?

That gets close to cultural relevance, as successful work usually has a
strong link between cultural and artistic relevance. Does the work engage
with historical memes, current events, execute their ideas in a powerful
and concise way, and so on?

But then, the recognition of culturally relevant work gets into the
realization of cultural capital. This is where the link between
"relevance" and the "curators and collectors" comes in. It's interesting
to note the phenomenon of collection of software pieces like Napier's and
the objectification of Simon's and Campbell's work.

What then, is the relationship between "relevance" and "recognition", or
even the legitimization of forms by institutions? Also, why are we
concerned with formal defintiions like Net Art and their continuation in
such a mutable field of inquiry? Is it to let the scholars, curators, and
audiences catch up? This is a bit of a problem, as Christiane has said
that the more experimental types like myself are often doomed to be
"pre-moded" unless we ease back a little at times and let the institutions
catch up a little.

The questions then are fairly straightforward, and probably in the area of
practice and intent. What are you looking to accomplish with the work, is
it more personal, public, institutional, capitalistic? Likewise, how do
artists working in these mercuric forms see their cultural communications
channels legitimizing these forms on larger scales, and want those
channels to help create a context for legitimacy?

As for me, I'm much more interested in sharing the work as a form of
dialogue, but this is something I've been pretty remiss in lately. But
then, it's really desirable to get support, as (like me) without
indpendent support, a lot of us tend to go academic. I stayed indie for
14 years; that's not bad.

I hope this is worthy grist for the mill.

+Steve OR Steven Read replied:+

With all this discussion of things getting 'killed'...things dying, dead,
crashing, busted, taken over...I'm beginning to get scared. This art world
surely is a dangerous place.

But seriously...

Would be interesting if a correlation did exist. Thesis/Essay anyone?

I think artists didn't want to be 'limited' anymore to the set of
materials commonly used for net art (browser interfaces and languages).
Not that these materials are anywhere close to exhaused. But I have to
admit that the 1990's HTML and Flash toolsets were/are fairly limited. We
live in a world of meta-meta-tools. Tools creating layers and layers of
more tools. Conforming to toolsets that allow for viewability via http is
limiting yet still challenging, like painting or writing. This is one
reason I love net art.

I remember putting terminal-browser-based net art into galleries on
monitors. Most people I don't think could engage with it very well. People
who leave their desk and enter a gallery want something different from
what their desk had to offer. Thus, as mentioned by others here,
gallery-net-art-whatchamacallit has evolved into new directions that
reflect its present canonization and integration. I still think plenty of
desk-net-art is still coming out though, whether its called or
screen art or desk art or cubicle art.

I remember VRML as being super cheesy. What ever happened to that?

+[In response to Jim Andrews,] mark cooley posted:+

I think you make some nice conncetions here. I especially like how you
conflate to some degree economic value and perceived aesthetic value.

> this diminishment in the economic value of the whole activity results in
> involvement all round in the art. which brings about also not simply a
> diminishment in the economic 'value' of the activity but a subjective
> change in the perceived 'value' of the art or activity.

As far as your statement on the lack of an economy of the art object
whereas net art is concerned it might be interesting to look at conceptual
art and early performance work as a way to understand how they were
brought into the major art institutions and what was gained and lost in
the process. i think there is an uneasy alliance that happens here. If
we are talking conceptual and performance of the 60's and 70's (as an
example) much of the work resisted the aesthetics, politics and economics
of the modenist art museums, but found itself being absorbed into those
same institutions eventually anyway. Artists were able to support
themselves and the genre gained widespread acceptence as "Art", yet much
of the original point of these works was hidden or lost and replaced with
an institutional narrative. It is now possible, for instance, to open an
art book and see Kosuth's One and Three Chairs discussed with a formalist
vocabulary. I think I may have taken this off in anot!
her direction. Sorry. It would be nice to see more written along the
lines that you have laid out here.

+Jim Andrews replied:+

Well, one thing that can be said for the galleries is that they are in
advance of the publishers, for the most part, concerning net art and the
digital more broadly. I'm basically a writer and fled with gratitude to
the Net when the Web opened up. Because I had little company in the sort
of art where I live. Because I also work with the visual and publishing
such material is difficult for publishers. And expensive. Because I also
am a programmer and audio guy and can attempt to put it together. Because
I can publish my work as well as I have the skill to do on the Web at
relatively little financial cost. Because books in Canada have a hard time
getting outside Canada or having more than 300 copies printed whereas the
Net is widely international. Because neither Borges nor Burroughs could
have been Canadian writers. Because the other artists I'm interested in
tend to be interested in the Net and their work is on it, often. Because
it's possible to take poetry in directions on!
the Web that poetry has rarely suffered. Because it still thrills me
occassionally. Because we are creating a world wide web of art and ideas
accessible to increasingly large portions of the world and we have the
opportunity to make that worthwhile for people now and perhaps for the
future. Because my daddy taught me there's nothing better for the world
than communication between people where before there was ignorance and
fear of the other and the unknown. Because we need to learn how to feel
and think with this technological extension of our voice and writings and
cognitive abilities so we can create something other than grasping,
poking claws with it. Because computers should expand our humanity, not
simply diminish it. Because I like books but my work usually doesn't fit
well inside of them. Because, as a writer, my focus is on publishing,
mainly, rather than performance or installation, etc.

It seems that net art has typically had more involvement from visual
artists than from writers though, of course, it tends to turn visual
artists toward writing and writers toward some involvement with the
visual. But publishers aren't quite sure what to make of digital literary
art if couldn't fit in a book. And will remain that way while they focus
singly on print.

If net art is 'out of fashion' in media art/visual arts now, perhaps the
writers are still in some sort of process of exploration of it. Perhaps
the net is more frequently apt for writers than for visual artists. In
that there are all sorts of visual arts that don't fit on the screen well
or at all, whereas the screen is more accomodating to wide ranges of
approaches to writing. Computers are language/logic machines. They are
implicated in language down to the machine language and theoretical level
(computer science students study a course sometimes called 'language and
the theory of computation').

I've read some of Kosuth's writing. He's a strong writer. He said the
concrete poets were stupid about language. He isn't a visual poet but a
visual artist of conceptual art. Which is to say he isn't so much
interested in the 'shadows on the wall' as the concepts that eddy
mysteriously among the shadows. And it seems, reading his writing, that he
is/was also rather formidably Marxist. But my whole knowledge of his work
is within the last eight years, so I'm not sure what has been lost in the
process you describe. I have read his collection of writings Art After
Philosophy and After, but it's been a while. Does he condemn formalism of
some type?

+[In response to Jason Nelson,] Mark Cooley wrote:+

nicely put. the academic dillema is difficult because getting work into
bigger institutions also leaves out certain possibilities. i've a list
of projects that i've been putting off now partly because they are more
activist oriented things and won't count for anything to my bosses. how
can they evaluate an installation in a Walmart parking lot. There are
publications that may be interested in that sort of thing but it takes a
constant effort to educate those in charge of tenure process ect that
these things are valuable.

however it possible to be subversive within the institutions (and fun when
you can get away with it) as net art moves into the institution and takes
on a place in Art History it becomes even more important to have voices on
the inside critiquing that process. There are artists that have done this
beautifully for years in other genre. Hans Haacke, Andrea Frasier, Martha
Rosler and many others. I think in general the problem with New Media art
is that there seems to be very little criticism of the institution in
terms of political economy. sure there is a boat load of political work
but very little that touches on the political economy of New Media.
Artist's are happy to work with criticism of U.S. foriegn policy etc,
economic globalization etc. but it seems whenever we start talking about
how Art might be implicated in those things then people get very
uncomfortable. if you talk about the coffee trade people get up in arms,
but if you talk about how computers are manufa!
ctured and under what conditions all of a sudden there is all kinds of
reactionary statements about how New Media Art has nothing to do with
politics and economics. That's like saying the gas i put in my car has
nothing to do with the war we're in because I like to drive my car.
There is an ideologies that help us to avoid seeing these connections.
Long ago I noticed that Rhizome has "technophobia" as a key word. I'm
waiting for "Technophilia" to be added. I'm guessing that there are not
a whole lot of technophobes reading this list. Technophiles though may
be another story.

Jason Nelson wrote:

> Jim (and others),
> Such great words here. There always seems to be this fight, this
> sort of strange
> need for institutional acceptance. These institutions with heavy
> doors, locked with
> tents and sleeping bags of artists waiting outside for entry. The
> large bouncer of
> curators, and funding bodies.
> I might have mentioned this before. But I'm in a quandry. The
> difficulty of being in
> academia is that one must constantly "measure" the impact of their
> work.
> So in one way, the pay and security is pleasing, but in another an
> artist must find
> the most "known" institutions and send your work there. And while
> those venues are
> most likely filled with gorgeous people, with sturdy ankles, they
> really shouldnt be our sole audience. And in fact they should be a
> very minor part of how net artwork should be shared, let's say 15
> percent. Lets say that.
> And yet that is the audience that gives the
> For example
> I recently had a few older works, Uncontrallable Semantics, This is
> how you will die,
> and Hermeticon, picked up by sites like and
> and other
> link aggregators. And with that has come 2.2 million visitors to my
> site in the past 4 months. In addition this
> audience e-mails you and
> suggests your work in that wonderful viral way, that blog to site to
> forum to newspaper sort of way. And you can see them go through entire
> works, spending sometime
> an hour or more exploring. This is the audience I want and this
> should be the audience
> we seek.
> What this then suggests is that part of this discussion about net
> art dead or dying or
> failing because so much of it moving to institutions.
> While this could lead to
> more funding, more respect in some circles, it is the wrong
> direction for net art to swim. Or maybe it simply is the wrong SOLE
> direction. Institutions are here to share artwork
> with some audience. But we circumvent the need for institutions.
> Well....almost
> there is still the point about funding. Well....not sure what to say
> about that.
> does appear that many former net artists have moved to
> installation or
> what seems to be mislabelled as new media art: video art. This again
> seems to be
> sign of net artists moving towards buildings, rather than the web.
> So consider this missive another well traveled call for swimming in
> what ever the hell
> direction you want. I want to be a cowboy.

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Rhizome Digest is filtered by Marisa Olson (marisa AT ISSN:
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